Here’s a Labor Day story about a guy who has worked 65 years in the same job and who had a magical impact in my life. Vin Scully, announced his first Brooklyn Dodgers baseball game in 1950 and has been the most colorful voice of the game that I loved as a boy. An enchanting storyteller, Scully taught me life lessons about heroes, villains, and described miracles that made me see the face of God.
Back then baseball was America’s game, and the NY Giants were my hometown team. I was a rabid fan. Bought and traded baseball cards, knew batting averages and stats, learned how to calculate odds and become an elementary school bookie. The Brooklyn Dodgers were our hated cross-town rivals, but Scully was not just a baseball announcer, he loved the game with a passion. He described the players, the fans, color, smells, chants and told the story as if it were an Olympian struggle as epic as the Trojan Wars.
Vin Scully worked the first nationally televised baseball game in Oct. 1951; the National League pennant game between my beloved Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers. It was the the ninth inning of the final playoff game, with the Giants down by a run, and 2 men on base, the Giants 3rd baseman Bobby Thompson came to the plate and hit a three-run homer off Ralph Branca to win the game and the pennant. This is still referred to as the “shot heard round the world”, and I watched the ball sail into the stands, I looked up at the heavens and saw the face of God.
My passion for baseball waned when the Giants and Dodgers moved to San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively, more lucrative markets said the owners who left their loyal fans heartbroken.
In a few weeks this 88-year-old living legend will work the final game of the regular-season when the Dodgers play the Giants In San Francisco. Lots of people will wave up at the booth, some will surely drop by… ballplayers, umpires, officials, fans acknowledging his incredible gift and contribution to the game.
I’ll be watching the game…eating Cracker Jacks and drinking a glass of chocolate milk, listen to Vin Scully tell his story, remember my dreams and when I first saw the face of God.
Have a great week, labor well and love well. I say this for All My Relations, Mi Takuye Oyacin.